I believe God orchestrates His will for us even in the most minute details of our lives.
We are self sufficient by nature and prone to writing things off as coincidence, and maybe some things are, but I believe God can work through our flesh without disturbing our self will, to work His master plan. The question is… do I want to be a part of it?
I have no doubt that His ultimate plan will prevail- with or without me. The question is… am I willing to turn my eyes from this earth, from this life and wholeheartedly focus on the big picture, on the eternal? And when I say yes and give my heart and life to my Saviour, the next question is… will I continue to give in to the urgings of His Holy Spirit on a daily basis?
Without whole and complete surrender, how can I hope to become the woman God wants me to be, the woman I want to be? Again, it’s important to remember that God’s ultimate plan will be carried out with or without me. Fortunately, He wants me to be on board! He’s rooting for me! In fact, He took the most extreme measures to ensure victory! All I have to do is let Him do His thing, give him the drivers seat.
At most, it’s a choice between eternal life starting now (yes, it's true!) and eternal death. At the least, it’s a decision of how victoriously, how joyfully, how thankfully I wish to live this life He has gifted me. How and whether I daily yield my life to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, is a measure of just how much I wish to glorify my Saviour. And I can’t help but think that Jesus made it pretty clear which side claims the fence-straddlers.
Obviously there is a moment of initial surrender. For me, that moment occurred 11 years ago. I determined that I wanted to be part of God’s salvation plan. And by His power, I turned my eyes to Jesus and renounced sin and self. But in order to grow, there must also be a daily, weekly, situational surrender that is just as sincere and maybe even more complete than the day I confessed. Which leaves me asking: Who am I now? Have I allowed God to grow me? Have I fallen back into my preChrist living?
(Which, in reality, wasn’t so terrible when measured against those “really horrible” sins. The problem is that ALL sin is equally horrible when compared to God’s holiness. A judgemental spirit, a self-serving attitude and an unthankful heart appear just as horrific to God as serial murder, recurring adultery and blatant lies appear to us.)
So I may very well look like I have been saved from sin and self. I may look like I’m walking with Jesus and living for Him, but what standard of measurement am I using? There is only One standard that matters. All others are tools of deception, used by Satan to keep me in a life of half-heartedness and complacency. Additionally, it’s important to remember that only God sees and knows the extent to which I yield to the impulse of His Holy Spirit. And His view is the only one that matters.
The details of the “what now” answer most likely look different for each of us, but the general theme and outcome has to be the same, doesn't it? A deeper walk with our Saviour. But what does that mean? For myself, I can say without a doubt it means that I must realize and respond to even the smallest of urgings my heart feels. How do you know if they are from the Spirit, you ask? Answer: You don’t. That’s why you (I) should act on them all (be reasonable, people). Because how else will I learn to recognize the Holy Spirit in my life?
I cannot deny the truth God is showing me about the connection between a deeper walk with Him and a very real surrender of all that I am and all that I have. He is showing me that the condition of my heart is the only difference between surrender and obedience out of obligation (resulting in bondage and guilt) and surrender and obedience out of thanksgiving and a desire to glorify Him more fully. He alone holds the keys to my heart. And He is the only one who can properly build up a solid foundation (Christ’s love for me- yes, me!) from which righteousness, holiness and glory to Him can grow.
All I have to do is surrender.
What has God been pressing on your heart lately? Do you push it away? Do you try to ignore it, like I often do? If so, I fear the road is getting wide, ladies. And I don't know about you, but I want to be on the narrow one... with Jesus.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil 2:13
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph 2:8-10
Saving is all his idea and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and the saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Eugene Peterson, The Message